Times are indeed tough. At a time when inflation has been making the prices of basic commodities shoot up, ordinary Janes and Joes need jobs and the wages they can get to survive. Get wages enough to help them make both ends meet. To make sure that employees get wages that are worth their effort is one of the priorities of the state and federal governments. To ensure equality in giving these wages, a minimum wage law was made ensuring that entry-level employees will be getting enough compensation for their needs.
In California, starting July 1, 2014, employees in the state should be paid $9 per hour worked. Then, in January 1, 2016 it will again be increased to $10 per hour so that employees will be given enough compensation that employees need given the spiraling cost of living. Other than those people who are exempted from the minimum wage law, all employees must receive the wages stipulated in this law. Minimum wages cannot just be waived by agreements. Moreover, minimum wages aren’t inclusive of tips from customers or allowances given by employers. However, despite such law being legislated, some employees still end getting less than the compensation indicated in these laws. These are rampant cases of minimum wage violations that a number of employers are guilty of.
If you have been a victim of minimum wage law violations, you may try to recover lost wages by filing a wage claim to the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) of the Labor Commissioner’s Office. In filing such claims, you need to gather all pieces of evidence to prove your claim and submit it to the authorities. You have to submit yourself to the processes and be able to prove your claims of these violations by your employer. It wont be long before the DLSE comes up with a judgment about your claims. Your win in the claim will enable you to recover lost wages due to the minimum wage law violations made by your employer. In some instances, the employer still chooses not to give the lost wages to the employee who filed the claim; even with the ruling of the DLSE and the release of a Order, Decision, or Award (ODA) notice. In such cases, you can assign the claim to the DLSE to save yourself from the stress that comes with claiming your lost wages from your employer.
In few cases, employers can retaliate against their employees who file a minimum wage law violation claim against them. If you become demoted, reassigned, or worse terminated, by your employer after filing the claim, you can file a discrimination or retaliation charge against them with the Labor Commissioner’s office. You can also try filing a lawsuit in court against your employer. A court ruling in your favor would help you recover lost wages because of your employer’s violation. More than that though, you will be able to help prevent your co-employees or other people from ending up in the same situation.
Every worker needs to get just payment that they have extended their employers. That is why as employees, you need to know what your rights are and what you should do to protect yourself from being manipulated by your employer.
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